Blaze Scores Seven in Ninth, But Falls by One, 9-8July 8, 2012 - California League (CalL) Bakersfield Blaze
For the first 89 percent of the game, it was the Storm show. Lake Elsinore collected single runs in each of the first 3 innings off Blaze starter Josh Smith (L, 7-5), eventually leading to Smith's first defeat in almost 2 months, and building a 3-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Burch Smith (W, 8-4) was dealing yet again. Smith, making his 3rd start against the Blaze in just over 3 weeks, went 5 innings of 1-run baseball, setting up the Storm for what appeared to be a cruising finish.
The key inning in the game, however, was the 3rd. With the Storm up 2-0, Lake Elsinore put a runner at 2nd base with 2 outs and one run across, and Storm catcher Eddy Rodriguez lined a fastball off the right shin of Blaze starter Josh Smith. Following the previous night's 15-inning defeat, the Blaze simply had no arms available, and with Smith unable to continue, the Blaze was forced to go to the Sunday probable starter Jamie Walczak.
Walczak, unprepared to pitch, was touched up for 6 runs over just 2 innings of relief, and the Storm built a pillowy 9-1 lead that held up until the 9th.
In the final frame, the Blaze made some noise. Yefri Carvahal proceeded to get the first batter before walking 3 in a row to load the bases. Two RBI singles in a row made the score 9-3 Storm, and Lake Elsinore went to the pen for help; help, however, did not come. Dan Lazzaroni entered and gave up a walk to force in a run, and a groundout forced in another to bring the Blaze to within 4. Big Donald Lutz, with 2 on, promptly launched a 2-1 fastball over the centerfield fence, and in a heartbeat, it was a 1-run contest.
Lake Elsinore went to the pen once more for Kevin Quackenbush (S, 17), the team's All Star closer. Quackenbush struck out Steve Selsky to end the game, and Bakersfield fell for the 6th straight night.
The loss drops Bako to just 6-11 in the second half, and now just 47-40 overall, and the 6-game skid marks the longest of the year.
The series with the Storm continues Sunday afternoon with probable pitchers to be determined. Be sure to tune in to Dan Besbris, as he calls all the action on BakersfieldBlaze.com live at 7:35pm. First pitch is set for 7:45pm on Chevy Youth Baseball Kids Club Sunday at the yard.
California League Stories from July 8, 2012
- Inland Empire Blanked at Home - Inland Empire 66ers
- Springer Picks up Triple-Double in Win - Lancaster JetHawks
- Giants Bats Silenced in 4-1 Loss to Quakes - San Jose Giants
- Santiago Deals in 4-1 Rancho Win - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
- Santana's Four Hits Lead Comeback - Lancaster JetHawks
- Blaze Scores Seven in Ninth, But Falls by One, 9-8 - Bakersfield Blaze
- Giants Drop 11-10 Slugfest to Quakes - San Jose Giants
- Cal Baptist Alumn Downs 66ers - Inland Empire 66ers
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